Tag Archives: how to fish in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

 

Send your fishing reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week

Apache Lake

Gunny C.: Finally a quality bass. 8-pounds, 2 ounces on March 15. Thanks to Johnny Johnson for the great informational videos!

Lake Mead

Jack caught this monster 48-pound, 13-ounce striper in about 10 feet of water in the flats across from South Cove. He also caught another lunker on the fishing trip.

Pena Blanca Lake

 

Andrew: Fished the shore this last Sunday evening. Didn’t get any bites using small jigs. Caught sunfish and bass on nightcrawlers during sundown.

 Roosevelt Lake

Jeff P.: Working the shallows between Grapevine and Schoolhouse, put 12 in the boat (catch and release), mostly on the smaller side, but also picked up a couple of good ones including the 19 incher in the photo. All were caught on clear/red hula grubs, Texas-rigged.

Desert Breeze Park (Chandler)

Anonymous: Viviana and her dad caught these two catfish late afternoon on Monday. Using chicken liver and are so excited for some spring fishing!

Fossil Creek

Max W.: Just wanted to let you know, chub fishing at Fossil Creek was on fire over the weekend. 5-6 fish an hour in the morning, all on dark simi-seals and wooly buggers. Things slowed down around 9:30 or so.

Dead Horse lagoons

Debbie A.: Taylor Allen (of Flagstaff) caught this largemouth bass on a drop shot. Sunday, March 19.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Tempe Kiwanis Lake

Mike M.: Cheyanne Montes caught this on a first-cast strike at Kiwanis  on Saturday March 11.   Set the hook just like Dad taught her … and go Irish!

Rainbow Lake

Blake Frost with a northern pike at Rainbow Lake — her second fish ever.

Lake Havasu

Drex A.: Caught this one on a drop shot in Lake Havasu.

Parker Canyon Lake

Jim P.: Went fishing yesterday, March 9, at Parker Canyon Lake. I was surprised to find a very heavy algae bloom in the lake and it was a brownish color. I have never seen algae in that lake before.  I could see only a few inches into the water. Fishing for trout was very poor.

Patagonia Lake

Anonymous: March 9, bass 15 1/2-inch bass trolling using plastic bait.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Winter fishing is OVER. Highs for the next week are predicted to be in the mid-to-high 80s in desert regions and 60s in the high country.

Spring perfume is in the air, we have a full moon this weekend, and trout stockings are kicking off again in the Flagstaff/Williams region. (Friday update: from Thursday to Friday we stocked a total of about 12,000 rainbow trout into Lower Lake Mary. )

Anglers braved a tough winter of erratic weather and now it’s time to hook, and  maybe cook, some fish. Warm water temps plus a full moon Sunday means there could be some great bass fishing in shallow water this weekend, and next week, and maybe through May. With all the rains and increased ground cover, those shallow spots will likely be in new areas. Explore away.

Be sure to send your reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Poppies along Bush Highway north of Saguaro Lake

Some highlights:

  • Lake Powell. Walleye and largemouth bass fishing is raring to go at Lake Powell. Water temperatures will reach the mid-50s by the weekend. Largemouth bass are the first to respond to this warming, followed by smallmouth bass. Wayne Gustaveson’s report will give you all the Powell tips you need.
  • Bartlett Lake. The lake is 99-percent full and water temperatures on Wednesday were 54 degrees and warming to 58.
  • Flagstaff/Williams area. Fish stockings have resumed, including at Lower Lake Mary, which is around half-full for the first time since 2010. Read more.
  • First major wave of spring bass spawning. It’s the first full moon in March — more bass will be moving in  shallow to spawn. It’s already been a banner spring bass fishing season. See some springtime bassin’ tips. 
  • Saguaro Lake levels are down. The lake levels dropped 11% in 3 days. The levels were decreased to accommodate maintenance at Mormon Flat Dam. The dam outage is expected to last until around mid-March. But some bass already are spawning.
  • Tonto National Forest campground openings. As water has receded, many campgrounds have reopened. Keep up with the latest updates.
  • Community fishing stocking transition. The final scheduled trout stockings of the winter season took place this week.  Catfish will return to Community waters  the week of March 20. See the latest Community news.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Monday, March 6 — Frances Short Pond, Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek, Dead Horse lagoons; Tuesday, Feb. 28 — Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake; Monday, Feb. 27 — Verde River (middle), Salt River. See the full schedule.

Public fishing events

At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.

Anglers wetting lines at the last clinic, the Just For Kids Fishing Festival at Kiwanis Lake on Feb. 25.

Saturday, March 11 — Family and Community Fishing Event, 8 a.m. – noon, Roper Lake State Park (101 E. Roper Lake Rd., Safford). For more information please contact Kelly Wright at Roper Lake State Park at (928) 428-6760 or the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Sounds like fishing action in desert regions is picking up thanks to stable weather — especially for largemouth bass. We have a full moon to possibly trigger some early spawning activity at western lakes such as Alamo, Havasu and Martinez.

Already there have been reports of small populations of bass moving in shallow at lakes such as Canyon and Saguaro (most bass remain deep and water temperatures at most desert lakes are in the low-to-mid 50s). Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been the most widely reported successful baits.

Moderate rain is predicted to fall in central Arizona on Sunday, so plan accordingly.

A couple of trout stockings remain for Community waters before catfish return in late March.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27 — Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, all “core” waters except Rio Vista, as well as Patterson Ponds, and Green Valley lakes. Tuesday, Jan. 24 — Pena Blanca Lake, Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond. Monday, Jan. 23 — Lower Salt River, Verde River (middle).

Next week: We’re scheduled to stock the Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), the lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, Hidden Shores (Imperial Dam), Parker (La Paz), Somerton (Council Park) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands.

Full  schedules

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov – one will be featured as Catch of the Week)

saguaro-bass

Ray B. caught this largemouth bass from Saguaro Lake in 3-5 feet of water on a brown-and-yellow crankbait around noon from the reeds. He said it weighed 5.51 pounds.

“BIG THANKS to the recent fishing articles in Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine,” He said. “Great tips lead to an amazing catch. AZ winter bass fishing at its best.”

See all the Angler Reports

Public fishing events

At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.

Saturday, Feb. 11 — Take a Kid Fishing Day, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., La Paz County Park (7350 Riverside Dr., Parker).

See the full schedule

Nets and waders: Working for you

This new section will periodically show what our fisheries biologists have been doing in the field to improve fishing in Arizona.

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Aquatic reef ball habitat that was being built Friday, Feb. 3 outside the AZGFD Mesa office. GEORGE ANDREJKO/AZGFD

These habitat reef balls are planned to be deployed into Roosevelt Lake this spring. Habitat serves as excellent structure/shelter for sport-fish species such as bass, crappie and bluegill for anglers to target.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

 

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Verde River (at Camp Verde)

verdebass

Troy G.: Winter bass fishing is good in the Verde River in Camp Verde this week. Starting to clear up a bit since all the rain a while back. Got this one on a chartreuse/blue crankbait.

Saguaro Lake

saguaro-bass

Ray B.:  Caught this one on a 3-5 foot brown and yellow crankbait around noon from the reeds at Saguaro Lake. She was 5.51 pounds.

Water conditions couldn’t be better. BIG THANKS to the recent fishing articles in Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine. Great tips lead to an amazing catch. AZ winter bass fishing at it’s best.

Lower Salt River (below Saguaro)

lower-salt-river-2-3-17

Justin M. fly-fished the Lower Salt River on Friday. The river is scheduled to be stocked with trout next week and was flowing at 13 cfs below Saguaro Mountain Dam on Tuesday.

Try the Phon D. Sutton, Water Users or Granite Reef Recreation Areas.

Justin M. said, “I have been fishing the Salt River the past six weeks or so on every Friday. Most of the time I’m fishing at Water Users and have had success every outing. All I do is fly fish anymore and have caught quite a few bass and lots of bluegill

For the bass, my most productive flies have been AZ simi seal leeches in canadian black, halloween, blood red and olive. Another productive fly pattern has been cheechs low fat minnow. Its a bluegill imitation.

For the bluegill, on warmer days I’ve done fairly well getting them on the surface with a beetle imitation. Other productive flies i’ve had great success with is a hares ear soft hackle pattern I tied up. The only time I tried for trout was a couple of weeks ago when it was raining and cooler.

Fished below the bridge using the hares ear soft hackle and caught and released 14 trout in a matter of a couple of hours. I have talked to other anglers on my outings and have been told that they were having luck with nightcrawlers, small spinners, and one fella was doing well for bass on dropshot with a green Roboworm.”

Canyon Lake

canyon_bass_2_4_17

Brian S.: Temps are warming up and in a few areas the bass are moving up, however most are still caught deep. This beauty was caught in 35 feet with a hinged spinnerbait with a zoom fluke trailer.

Utilizing sonar electronics is critical for deep water fishing. Find them, mark a way point and slowly work your baits into the strike zone. Pay attention to your sonar through the entire process because once you entice one to bite, have your angling buddy be ready with a flutter spoon or Kastmaster as you may find you just ignited a school of them. Hopefully your angling buddy is ready with the net as well.

 

Gila River

ramoncatfish

Ramon: This was on a Saturday night, Feb. 4, around 9 p.m. at Gila River on right side of bridge! Used chicken lever and caught a channel catfish at 18 pounds and 31 inches!

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Desert Breeze Lake

img_0187Dave P.: This Incentive trout was caught at Desert Breeze Park. It started to rain and when this double rainbow appeared in the sky.

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Shortly after, this rainbow trout hit the line like a ton of bricks.

My son Bryce Marco Permuy had a blast landing the fish. Tight lines is always the answer!

Tempe Kiwanis Lake

kiwanistrout2

  • Craig S.:  I’d been going to Kiwanis Lake to fish for the last stocking for a change of scenery and for its ease of getting around as I have a spinal injury.

    My third trip (Jan. 18) I fished for about 6 hours in different spots/seats etc. to try and stay comfortable throughout the day. I’d seen 12 3-ish pounders already taken and who knows how many others I didn’t. I was about to rap up yesterday (Jan. 17) around 4 o’clock and just as I picked up the rod I got the hit! At first, I thought I had hooked a cat. It was pulling good and stayed down.

    There was an easy 25-plus yards of line out. My poles all have 6-pound line with slider weights and small treble with PowerBait (salmon eggs) on one and the other had a crawler with a tiny white PowerBait ball to look like mouse tail. After about 10 minutes I got to see it and “Wow.” I felt so good and reinvigorated after landing it as this is the biggest trout I’ve ever had.

    I have a Berkeley scale and it was 3.4 pounds on it. Caught Jan. 18 around 4:40 p.m. Best I’ve felt in a few weeks and today I’m still feeling better than average.

    incentivedark

  • Damien B.  Caught Friday, Jan. 15, a big rainbow caught at Kiwanis Park. Caught on a gold Kastmaster.

 

Rio Vista Pond (Peoria)

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Rick S.: His biggest trout to date.  Caught using a spinner.

 

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers:

Verde River

The Verde River is a lesser-known spot that has some of the best winter fishing in Arizona.
The Verde River is a lesser-known spot that has some of the best winter fishing in Arizona.

Steve G. of Flagstaff with a Sonoran sucker (23 inches, pictured) and a roundtail chub (18 inches).

 

Becker Lake

James B.: Went fishing last weekend at Becker. The latest (in the year) I have ever fished. There was skim ice Friday and Saturday and not fishable, but Sunday afternoon the wind and sun pushed the ice off . My buddy and I caught several in the 18-inch range and one of more than 22 inches. Using red San Juan worms and large simi seal leeches in several colors. Bald eagle was out fishing, too!

Big Lake

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Mike R.: Wednesday, Dec. 14, cutthroat trout using nightcrawlers from shore.

Editor’s note: As of Monday, Big Lake was completely iced-over. This time of year, certain lakes in the high country might have certain degrees of ice cover on any given day. 

 

Red Mountain Lake

Digital Camera

Jim E.: This is the first keeper largemouth I ever caught at Red Mt. after about 15 years.  I had hooked a shad and ended up using it as bait and caught it. It was a nice experience for me because it was my birthday  — Monday, Dec. 12.  Not sure of the weight but someone that is familiar with bass might give an estimate from the picture. Happy Holidays.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

It’s winter trout and crappie time.

Crappie anglers: the Topock Marsh (close to Needles along the Colorado River) can provide some nice crappie fishing as well. This is also a superb place to see migrating waterfowl (maybe take along a shotgun or camera, or both).

See last week’s report for more crappie tips.

prescotttrout

This is Rob’s holdover rainbow trout from Watson Lake that was 22 inches in length, and weighed 4 pounds, and 2 ounces using cheese PowerBait.  Rob usually prefers using the Super Duper Spoons but said the PowerBait has worked better lately.

More trout-lights: Fishing for trout in Community waters can be some of the best fishing in the state.  Our “core” waters are scheduled to be stocked next week.

Winter bassin’ in AZ

Bass are scattered in many desert lakes. Wintertime bass fishing can mean fishing is hot one day, slow the next. Cover a lot of water and try numerous presentations.

On calm nights, night fishing for stripers can be productive at places like Pleasant and Havasu.

Finally – see our top 5 fishing waters for this winter.

Stocking report

This week we are scheduled to stock the Deadhorse Lakes, Apache Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond and Redondo Pond.  Check all the stocking schedules.

These are confirmed stockings from last week:

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 1 — Watson Lake; Community waters: Alvord Lake, Desert West Lake, Pioneer Lake,  Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Cortez Lake, Encanto Lake, Steele Indian School Pond, Papago Ponds (1, 2 & 3), Evelyn Hallman Pond, Freestone Pond, Red Mountain Lake, Green Valley Lakes, Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake,

Wednesday, Nov. 30 — Goldwater Lake, Luna Lake.

See the full schedule.

 

High country ice-cover reports

See the White Mountains section in the full report for the ice conditions. Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes are fishable and have thawed a bit this week – go get a tiger trout state record. See our Catch of the Week below –- it’s the latest hook-and-line state record tiger trout caught Dec. 4 at Willow Springs Lake.

Flagstaff-area lakes Upper Lake Mary, Kinnikinick, Ashurst, Frances Short, Dogtown, Cataract, City, Santa Fe, Whitehorse) are partially frozen and not really fishable. Get ready for spring when trout lakes law because fishing could be epic – especially at Dogtown and Kinnikinick.

Be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road closures.

Licensed to fish

Buy a license online, 24/7, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week)

larry-johnson-tiger-trout-record-fish-2016

Larry Johnson caught this 12-inch hook-and-line state record on Dec. 4 from Willow Springs Lake.

See previous week’s Angler Reports

 

Upcoming free fishing events

Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday —  Third annual Brian Pinney Memorial Family Fishing Event, 8 a.m. – noon, Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank) on the east side of the at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Get started in the heritage-rich sport of fishing.

For those who bring their own gear, this event is catch-and-release only  single, barbless hooks only.

See the full schedule.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

 

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers:

Lake Pleasant

pleasantflathead

Jim N.: Got a 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, and a 30-pound flathead catfish. Some are brown/yellow living in sunken brush, some are green/black living in rocks or mud. Got eight channels on corn or shad, eight top-water stripers on Zara puppy, one white bass, 2 largemouth bass on poppers.

Bear Canyon Lake

bearcanyonlaketrouts

Damien B.: The luck keeps hitting (rainbow trout caught Nov. 20), and coming in waves on PowerBait!

Patagonia Lake

Ty S.: Time: 8 am -3 pm; Conditions: Overcast with 10-15 mph gusts.; Temp.: Air – 63, Water – 58; 15-foot Seaswirl boat.

My wife and I fished for Bass for about 7 hrs — 0 fish caught. We used KVD deep (15 foot) crankbaits as well as shallow 3-5-foot bluegill and chartreuse pattern. Used two different whopper plopper 90 size. Carolina rigged 6-inch worms also. Weather front was moving in our fish finder showed fish between 10-15 ft. We focused on bass only. Boat launch was great.

Lake Mead

lakemead

Joe B.:  Caught this walleye in Lake Mead near mile marker 43 on Nov. 23. I have been fishing Lake Mead for 30-plus years and have never seen or heard of one being caught.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

This might be the last weekend to fish high country hideaways such as Big Lake before skim ice — or unsafe ice — begins to form. The Big Lake Store is officially closed for winter.

Meanwhile, late fall/winter fishing is just beginning in the desert regions.

But first, great news — today through Sunday we’re offering a 50-percent discount on short-term (one-day) combination fishing/hunting licenses purchased online. That means only $7.50 per day for Arizona residents and $10 per day for non-residents.

Bring the kids along — youth licenses (required for ages 10-17) are only $5 and are valid for a year.

Buy a license, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

OK, back to the report. Trout are back in Community waters! See when and where they’re being stocked. On Tuesday afternoon we stocked 665 pounds of trout into Tempe Town Lake. Watch video of this stocking (from under the pipe).

The next new moon is Nov. 29, which means using submersible lights at night to attract fish such as striped bass and crappie will become increasingly more effective.

 

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week)

sagbass1116
Charles S. caught this giant Saguaro Lake largemouth bass on a Zoom Trick worm in shallow water.

See all the Angler Reports

Upcoming free fishing events

Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday, Dec. 3 — Town of Gilbert’s Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. — noon, Freestone Pond (1045 E. Juniper Ave., Gilbert). Sponsored by AZGFD and town of Gilbert. Loaner rods provided to first 100 participants. Bait and fishing information available.  Contact Jennifer Lauria, Gilbert Parks & Rec., 480-503-6234 or the AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

See the full schedule.

Stocking report

These are confirmed stockings from last week. See the stocking schedules.

Rainbow trout
Friday, Nov. 18 —
Community waters: Desert Breeze, Veterans Oasis, Copper Sky, Red Mountain, Riverview, Rio VIsta, Alvord, Cortez, Desert West, Encanto, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School, Chaparral, Surprise, Evelyn Hallman, Tempe Kiwanis, Kennedy, Lakeside, Silverbell, Sahuarita, Water Ranch Lake. ** Pioneer Lake and Green Valley lakes did not get stocked due to water quality issues (both are expected to be stocked the week of Nov. 28).

See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT